Study Reveals One 'Lazy Day' A Week Can Help Reduce Stress, High Blood Pressure And Improve Mental Health

By Khadija Pervez in Life Style On 4th December 2023
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Feeling guilty about indulging in a lazy day? Well, it turns out that dedicating just one day a week to leisure can enhance your productivity, happiness, and overall well-being.

 

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 This break can do wonders for your mental health, reducing stress levels, and even contributing to lower blood pressure.

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So, what exactly is meant by a 'lazy day'? Essentially, it involves taking a break from your routine, and deliberately avoiding tasks on your to-do list. This means no checking work-related emails or responding to work calls. 

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Picture yourself spending the entire day in pajamas, taking a refreshing nap, engaging in activities you genuinely enjoy—whether it's gardening, binge-watching your favorite shows, or savoring good food without worrying about calorie counts. Embrace the simple pleasures of life!

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"If you don’t pick a day to relax, your body will pick it for you. You know it’s true. If you admit it to yourself. Relaxing really is precursor to being more productive."

"We often think that productivity means to work. It doesn’t. Productivity means making intentional choices towards a goal. And sometimes that choice could be to have a lazy day and replenish."

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"After all, we’re called human beings, not human doings! We weren’t built to go at 100mph 24/7 without stopping to breathe and take in our surroundings."

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"You can optimise your sleep, your food, your gut, your energy - but unless you have some real time off, to sit around and do nothing and reflect and appreciate where you’re at, you’ll never repair or operate properly."

What are some of the suggested benefits of taking a lazy day?

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HELP PREVENT CHRONIC CONDITIONS

If you've been experiencing less than optimal well-being for an extended period, there's a possibility that it could be attributed to accumulated stress that you haven't been able to tackle.

"Stress actually kills and taking days off can save you from a lifetime of unexplained physical and mental problems and chronic disease," says Gray.

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Nevertheless, it's important to emphasize that if you've been feeling unwell for an extended period and are dealing with persistent symptoms, seeking advice from your general practitioner (GP) is strongly recommended.

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INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY

If you discover that you're consistently working or constantly dwelling on work-related thoughts during your days off, it is probable that this will adversely affect your performance in the long run.

“Taking time off to recharge and replenish will actually allow you to perform far-far better and more efficiently in the long run,” says Gray.

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Improved mood, creativity and willpower

“That means improved cognitive ability, creativity and willpower. As well as way less stress, better mood and overall better outcomes,” says Gray.

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TIPS TO HELP EASE STRESS

Gray recommends establishing a clear delineation between work hours and personal time, emphasizing the importance of respecting personal hours and knowing when to switch off. This advice holds true regardless of how mission-driven one may be.

“Stop constantly checking your emails and texts and making yourself available all the time,” he says. “Get away, even if it’s just for a day.”

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“People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals.”

On the other hand, he did have one final warning for us all. Being a lazy procrastinator won’t do you any favours either. “Be mission led, but know when you need time to focus on you,” he says.